BILL WATCH 26-2023 - Motions Approved and Reports Presented before Parliament Adjourned

BILL WATCH 26/2023

[8th July 2023]

Motions Approved and Reports Presented before Parliament Adjourned.

In the Senate Tuesday  13th to Thursday 15th June

Tuesday 13th June [length of sitting: 31 minutes]

Debate on Senator Angeline Tongogara’s motion on a sustainable health care system in Zimbabwe  Three Senators made their brief contributions to this debate until Senator Tongogara moved that debate be adjourned until the next day.

Senator Mpofu’s motion on the sustainable management of waste adopted  There being no further contributions to this debate, Senator Mpofu briefly wound up the discussion and the motion was adopted. 

Comment: Senators will read with interest the Swedish approach to waste management in the report of the Benchmark Visit to Sweden that was presented to the National Assembly later in the week [see below].

Wednesday 14th June [length of sitting: 15 minutes]

Senator Tongogara’s motion on a sustainable health care system in Zimbabwe  There being no further contributions to the debate on this motion, which had drawn much support from Senators, Senator Tongogora, wound up discussion, thanked all Senators who had contributed and added a special plea to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to honour the Abuja Declaration’s target of 15% of the National Budget to the Health Ministry.

Senator Alice Dube’s motion on measures to combat human trafficking  Senator Chirongoma made a brief contribution to the debate before the Senate adjourned after sitting for fifteen minutes.

Thursday 15th June [length of sitting: 9 minutes]

Senator Komichi’s withdrawal of his motion challenging the unAfrican electoral system applicable in Zimbabwe and most African countries   Apart from the adjournment until 22nd August, the only business conducted was Senator Komichi’s withdrawal of his unpresented motion challenging the present unAfrican electoral system, perhaps appreciating that it was now inappropriate for him to move it.  The motion envisaged the Senate’s approving the following calls:

“(a)   upon the three arms of Government to recommend a Government of National Unity before the 2023 election;

 (b)   upon Parliament to introduce far reaching reforms in our governance system as a matter of urgency so that political and economic injustices are addressed”.

In the National Assembly Tuesday 13th to Thursday 15th June

Tuesday 13th June

Take-note motion on 2022 Annual Report of Zimbabwe Gender Commission [link]

The Deputy Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development, Hon Mhlanga, presented this motion and the report.   She summarised the functions of the Commission, the major milestones of the Commission’s work during 2022 [including a multi-sectoral stakeholder inquiry into the problem of child marriages], the investigation of over 500 reported child marriage cases]; challenges [including “inconsistent disbursements” of their budgeted funds]; and the Commissions’ recommendations [including the need for a decentralised organisation to facilitate investigations into cases, and the need for the criminalisation of sexual harassment by a separate Act or suitable amendments to the Criminal Law Code].  The report was than debated with contributions from Hon Mpariwa who raised the issue of Government’s failure to ratify International Labour Organisation [ILO] Convention 190, dealing with sexual harassment notwithstanding calls to do so.  Also contributing were Hons Mliswa [who mentioned the part played by sexual harassment in the banning of ZIFA by FIFA] and Hon Nduna [who pleaded the case for better housing for families who were living in grossly overcrowded conditions incompatible with any privacy].  More MPs wished to speak, but the House then turned to the next item selected by the Chief Whips.

Wednesday 14th June

Two important reports were presented by the chairpersons of the relevant portfolio committees, who moved take-note motions:

Understanding the Terrorist Threat in Africa: New Challenges and Necessary Measures [link]

Hon Brig Gen (rtd) Mayihlome, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services, presented the report of the Delegation that attended the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism High-Level Parliamentary Conference on Parliamentary Engagement, in Partnership with the African Parliamentary Union (APU) and the Shura Council of the State of Qatar on “Understanding the Terrorist Threat in Africa: New Challenges and Necessary Measures” held at La Cigale Hotel in Doha, the State of Qatar From 30 to 31 March 2022.

Learning and Exchange visit on Early Childhood Education in Finland and Sweden [link]

Hon. T. Moyo, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education, presented the Report on the Learning and Exchange visit in February 2023 on Early Childhood Education and Care Model by the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education.    

Comment: Both this visit and the benchmark visit to Sweden referred to in the next paragraph were facilitated by Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Sweden, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, former MP [and chairperson of the Primary and Secondary Education Committee].

Thursday 15th June

Report of the Joint Portfolio Committees on Energy and Power Development; and Environment, Climate and Tourism on the Benchmark visit to Stockholm, Sweden held in February, 2023 [link]

This excellent report was presented by Hon Musarurwa, chairperson of the Environment, Climate and Tourism committee, seconded by Hon Gabbuza, chairperson of the other committee involved in the Benchmark visit.  The main objective of the visit was to learn about the measures that the Swedish Government had adopted to promote and develop its renewable energy mix with a long-term view of a net-zero carbon emission by 2050.  MPs who participated in the visit came back full of new ideas about energy and environment – from use of solar collectors as a source of heat for industrial purposes where Zimbabwe uses electricity; to proper waste management and the use of both food waste and other waste for “green” purposes; and production of lithium ion batteries in Zimbabwe, among many others.   MPs who heard the report were enthusiastic about those ideas; they recommended that there be follow-ups by the Ministry of Energy and Power Development and Ministry of  Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry. 

The Acting Speaker commended the report as pregnant with real, simple and practicable issues that can be implemented with not a lot of money”

At 4.06 pm, on the motion of Hon Togarepi, ZANU PF Chief Whip, seconded by Hon Tekeshe, the House adjourned until Tuesday 22nd August [see note at the beginning of this bulletin].

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